galaxy map information modes/overlays

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Bigjoe5
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#136 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:46 pm

mZhura wrote:i think stealth/detection become the most considerable game strategic feature. so, my thought is: UI element to control the stealth threshold must always be on galactic map (below the scale bar) and must be controlled with something like shift/ctrl+mouse-wheel
That depends on whether the visibility circles will always be present or if they will just be activated as another overlay. If they are always present, it makes sense for a UI element to control them to be always present on the screen. If not, its more reasonable to have things done the same way as all the other overlays. Either way, the detection overlay and/or any options related to it should be easily accessible via keyboard shortcuts.
mZhura wrote:]IMO pie chart seems not enough informative because it shows only relative values. i think absolute values are necessary for most situations
The relative size of each piece of pie gives relative resource production within a system, but the overall size (or brightness) of the pie would indicate overall resource production. This way, the player can tell at a glance which systems are producing more and of what. Naturally there should be specific options for this overlay, such as toggles for which resources to show, and whether to show everyone's known resources or just the player's empire's resources. If the player wants more precise information, he can either click on the star and look at the planets, or he can go to the "Colonies" screen and sort colonies based on resource production, and all the values will be readily accessible. The main purpose for the overlay is to give a general impression of what is being produced where and how much; nothing more specific is required, nor could it be provided without actually putting numbers on the map, from what I can see.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#137 Post by mZhura » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:10 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
mZhura wrote:i think stealth/detection become the most considerable game strategic feature.
That depends on whether the visibility circles will always be present or if they will just be activated as another overlay.
that's exactly what i'm saying: IMO there is no need to deactivate visibility indication
Bigjoe5 wrote:
mZhura wrote:IMO pie chart seems not enough informative because it shows only relative values. i think absolute values are necessary for most situations
The relative size of each piece of pie gives relative resource production within a system, but the overall size (or brightness) of the pie would indicate overall resource production.
if it will show just one resource than yes, it will be absolute value. but in this case it will be not a "pie chart" but some sort of "color diagram"... IMO

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#138 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:15 pm

mZhura wrote:]that's exactly what i'm saying: IMO there is no need to deactivate visibility indication
That depends on what other overlays we have and how they're displayed. For example, the resource distribution overlay would conflict with the detection circles if it were a big overlapping pie chart. If the star itself became the pie chart, they would not conflict. There will be many other situations like this, and it would take very good planning for it to be really practical to have the detection circles always present. Regardless of whether or not they are always present by default however, a player could presumably just leave them on all the time, except when he is using a different overlay...
mZhura wrote:if it will show just one resource than yes, it will be absolute value. but in this case it will be not a "pie chart" but some sort of "color diagram"... IMO
I don't see how it would cease to be a pie chart. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the way I described, the production of a single resource at a system could be determined by multiplying the area covered by the resource by the brightness of the star, if both could be given numerical quantities at a glance... Regardless, no type of pie chart, unless it is accompanied by numbers will be able to give exact values; what do you suggest?
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#139 Post by mZhura » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:22 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:
mZhura wrote:if it will show just one resource than yes, it will be absolute value. but in this case it will be not a "pie chart" but some sort of "color diagram"... IMO
I don't see how it would cease to be a pie chart. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the way I described, the production of a single resource at a system could be determined by multiplying the area covered by the resource by the brightness of the star, if both could be given numerical quantities at a glance... Regardless, no type of pie chart, unless it is accompanied by numbers will be able to give exact values; what do you suggest?
i thought - why do we need the pie chart for one resource mode, maybe just write exact numbers over stars? on the other hand - if there are some sort of "planet list" in future UI, then pie chart maybe enough for on-galaxy-view information

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#140 Post by eleazar » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:54 pm

mZhura wrote:IMO pie chart seems not enough informative because it shows only relative values. i think absolute values are necessary for most situations
Pie charts are fine for the galaxy map. They give you an at-a-glance idea of what's going on. Putting numbers there would be confusing.

Absolute values are necessary to have "somewhere", but IMHO are better in the sidebar, tooltips, or their own database-like "planets" screen.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#141 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:01 pm

The ability to "flag" starlanes should also be included, in case the player wants to remember a certain route for whatever reason (perhaps it's the most commonly used or expected route for the enemy fleet, or a route that the player plans to take, or a route which an ally has promised to protect so you can get your colony ship through). These could probably be identified, when the overlay is activated, by one of several different flashy-type effects for the starlanes so the player can easily distinguish between starlanes which he flagged for different reasons.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#142 Post by eleazar » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:03 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:The ability to "flag" starlanes should also be included, in case the player wants to remember a certain route for whatever reason ...
That's sounds at best marginally useful.

Without this feature, starlanes are not a clickable target, we just have stars and ships to worry about when interacting with the galaxy map. Making lanes clickable simply for the rare instances when somebody might want to flag one would make interacting with the galaxy map at least a little more error prone, which would outweigh any utility gained.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#143 Post by pd » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:24 pm

I've been thinking about this a little and came up with an idea. You don't necessarily need to have starlanes clickable. Instead you could perhaps draw on the map on arbitary locations using a tool like the polygonal lasso selection in photoshop(it draws straight line segments with every click you do).

Image

I definitely want to see flags to mark stars in the game at some point and marking starlanes might be useful too.

Instead of every starlane, just the flags are clickable and only if they are turned on.

Also, Geoff was talking about adding/removing starlanes a couple of times, so maybe they'll have to be clickable anyway in future.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#144 Post by eleazar » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:30 am

I agree that flagging stars would be very useful.
pd wrote:I've been thinking about this a little and came up with an idea. You don't necessarily need to have starlanes clickable. Instead you could perhaps draw on the map on arbitary locations using a tool like the polygonal lasso selection in photoshop(it draws straight line segments with every click you do).
Are you suggesting this as a way to draw on the galaxy map, or as a way to select objects?

It seems clumsy as a way to select. SHIFT+CLICK is a better know and more precise way to do multiple selections.

The idea of drawing directly on the map is interesting... maybe you could show your drawn lines to allies? I wonder if it is practical. Does anybody know of a game that implements something like this?
pd wrote:Also, Geoff was talking about adding/removing starlanes a couple of times, so maybe they'll have to be clickable anyway in future.
If that is implemented, the selection of a starlane to build/destroy will be a special event. Even with this feature, under normal use, there still is no reason to have starlanes clickable.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#145 Post by pd » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:20 am

eleazar wrote: Are you suggesting this as a way to draw on the galaxy map [...]?
Yes.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#146 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:59 pm

Even if starlanes were clickable, how would this make navigating the galaxy map more error-prone? If you missed the system, you missed, and maybe you hit a starlane and maybe you didn't, but regardless of whether the starlane was actually selected, its still just one more click to open the window/panel you actually wanted.

This is what mouse-over graphics are for, and IMO, they do the job quite well.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#147 Post by eleazar » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:25 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:Even if starlanes were clickable, how would this make navigating the galaxy map more error-prone? If you missed the system, you missed, and maybe you hit a starlane and maybe you didn't, but regardless of whether the starlane was actually selected, its still just one more click to open the window/panel you actually wanted.

This is what mouse-over graphics are for, and IMO, they do the job quite well.
I don't understand what mouse-overs have to do with this.

Interacting with the gal-map is more error-prone because ships will be frequently overlaid on the clickable zone of a lane: buttons right on top of other buttons. With nothing else clickable (except stars) you can be generous with a ships clickable area. You might be sometimes limited to small slivers of lane between various fleets, which make a lousy mouse target.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#148 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:05 pm

eleazar wrote:I don't understand what mouse-overs have to do with this.

Interacting with the gal-map is more error-prone because ships will be frequently overlaid on the clickable zone of a lane: buttons right on top of other buttons. With nothing else clickable (except stars) you can be generous with a ships clickable area. You might be sometimes limited to small slivers of lane between various fleets, which make a lousy mouse target.
Mouse-overs are what tell you what's going to happen when you click the mouse button... It doesn't matter as much if starlanes are a lousy clickable target when they're mostly full of ships if you can tell due to mouse-over graphics whether you're going to click on the fleet or the starlane.

Not that it really matters - starlanes don't need to constantly be a clickable target just because you can flag them - only when you're in the specific mode where you flag starlanes, which can easily be selected in the same way the player would choose to flag systems.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#149 Post by mZhura » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:25 am

for example - starlanes may become clickable with some key-modifier (alt for instance)

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#150 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:51 am

I anticipate any player-controlled starlane creation or destruction being controlled by specifying systems at the ends of the lane, rather than the lane itself. This way, the same selection mechanism will work for both existing lanes and lanes that are being created, and the existing condition system can be used, which only matches UniverseObjects (buildings, ships, fleets, systems, planets) and not other things like, in this case, starlanes.

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